[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]Team Name: Melee
Captains: Elise Bjork, Whitney Miller
Coaches: Katie Blyth, Terry Jungman
Year Founded: 2000
Jersey Colors: Black, White, and Burnt Orange
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at Texas?
Whitney Miller: My name is Whitney Miller- also known as “titty”, “whitnard”, “killer” or “duke” depending on who you ask around the Ultimate community. I am a senior at the University of Texas studying advertising. My favorite movie of all time is She’s the Man. I enjoy crazy core skittles, design, gmail, and cheap shirt finds from walmart. I played a number of sports throughout my life thus far, but I was most devoted to soccer prior to finding Ultimate satisfaction haha jk. I was involved in Texas Wake my first year at UT and got really into wakeskating and such. I met a girl named Rachel otherwise known as “Chump” through Hill Country Bible and went out to practice with her one night my freshman year but decided I wanted to focus on the wake team, but that only lasted one year. I went back to try out sophomore year after much persuading by Janel, Amy, Chump, and various others and made Melee. I thought about it just now, and I really don’t know where I would be without Texas Ultimate. I fell in love with the game; I played Showdown this last season, and the bottom line is I just can’t get enough. Some of my best friends are people I have met through this club. I am co-captaining with Elise this season and could not be more excited or proud.
How MELEE do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Whitney: Melee had a great season last year. The previous year ( my rookie year) we just missed going to Nationals and I think that fueled a lot of our fire leading up to out first place finish at Regionals last year. We had an outstanding group of rookies and just a lot of talent across the board. We didn’t break seed at Nationals (ended up 17th) which was our goal but we had a couple great games up there and a lot of fun just hanging out together. I think a lot of people on the team would agree that I don’t think we understood our potential until we got to Nationals and played the first couple games. A lot of us had never been and I guess we did not realize that we really did have a chance to break seed or go farther. The highlight of the season would be our first place finish at Regionals, I think. It was a very exciting close game and truly a team win. Everyone on the team, and I mean everyone, played their hearts out that game; from rookies to vets to parents, teammates, and friends on the sideline. It was insane fun but I also almost threw up- a little too close you know?
Tell us about your coaches and captains. What do they bring to your team?
Whitney: I could not express in words how privileged Elise and I feel to have the two coaches we have this season. It was a hard search but we definitely came out on top and I know things ended up the way they did for a reason. Our coaches are BS or Katie Blyth and Terry Jungman or JT and KT. BS was our Callahan nominee last year. It was her senior year. She captained Melee my rookie year along with Steph. She is one of the most knowledgeable, hardworking, honest people I know. She brings vision to the team; she sees the field so well and knows what works for us and what does not. She knows how we tick. Although BS is fresh out of the team, everyone who has played with her would say she might be a peer but she is viewed as a leader. She is respected on and off the field, pushes us to meet and remember our goals, and loves dogs, Harry Potter, and Shiner, and has a sense of humor, which is important. Terry co-coached Melee last year and did a phenomenal job. Terry is a gem because he can come work with a group of girls he hardly knows and become respected and befriended in days. This is short and simple but Terry just works well with us. He explains things so clearly on the field and helps us see things in a different light or things we have not even seen before in ourselves or the team. Him and BS are both very calm and collected which helps Melee stay focused and level-headed during big games.
I am a captain along with Elise. Elise brings such a positive attitude to the team. She is smiling and full of hope, probably 98% of her life. Haha. I mean she’s hella positive and it effects everyone. Like Terry and BS she is a calm and collected player. She is also consistent which helps the team to have faith in her and the team as a whole. Elise brings huge power as a handler. She is a young player like me which shows her athleticism and natural ability when she is on Melee for only the second year and is a captain. She should be very proud of her accomplishments. I would say I bring energy and aggression. I work hard and I want the team to work hard because I see their potential. I know that short term sacrifice means long term gain and along the way it is very difficult to see it. I know myself fairly well and I know when I am not giving 100% and I hate it. I am able to see when others aren’t and help amp it up. – Maybe ask someone else what I bring haha, I also like to encourage everyone and make a joke here and there. It is important to remember we are all friends and there for each other off the field too.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Whitney: Amy K or Elise are most likely to make a big play as a thrower. Sharon Tsao or Diana Charrier is most likely to make a big play as a receiver. Whitney or Janel are most likely to make a big play on D.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable he is to your team?
Whitney: Julie Paik would be one. She plays 100% every time she is on the field. She may not get flashy D’s or whatever else but that is because they are not throwing to the girl she is on which is something that goes unnoticed. Her girl is slim to never an option on the field when she is playing D.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Whitney: One of our goals is to win the dance contest at Centex if that’s what you mean! hah. But seriously, we will win. We would like to break seed at Nationals and/or be playing in the finals game at Nationals this year. Prior to that, we want to win regionals and win a tournament before the series which we actually already did at JPN this fall. We always want to make bracket play (Sunday) of all tournaments.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which are you most looking forward to? Why?
Whitney: We will attend Easterns, Pres Day, Centex, and then the series. I think I most looking forward to Centex because it is in Austin and we put a lot of work into that tournament as a whole which it is always cool to see it come together. There will also be a lot of regional competition which is going to be fun and good to see before the series.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack for your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Whitney : “The Dog Days are Over” by Florence + the Machine probs. I can’t stop jammin that jam–
What do you think about the USAU college restructuring?
Whitney: I honestly do not have a strong opinion about the whole thing. It was kind of a joke for awhile haha- I do think it is good because to me it says the sport is growing and people care about the progress and well being of the ultimate community. I think it is going to create more opportunities for people involved with the sport.